Boulder’s most epic music venue: a tiny deck in the foothills

What started on a whim has become a bit of a movement

By Paul Hagey Sep 1 2020

When Covid froze the nation’s economy, Boulder musician Andy Thorn saw his livelihood ice up as well. A banjo player in the Americana band Leftover Salmon, Andy typically traveled America far and wide in the summer playing gigs and earning a living with the band.

Andy Thorn

Stuck at home, Andy decided to turn the epic deck on he and his wife’s Cecelia’s property in the hills above Lee Hill Drive into what may be Boulder’s best music venue. The roughly 25-foot-by-12-foot deck presents a stunning southeastern view the foothills and downtown Denver in the distance; it also offers glimpses of Boulder’s Green Mountain and Flagstaff peaks.

Andy and Cecelia built the deck for their September 2017 wedding. “I knew it would be a great stage one day,” says Andy of the impetus to build it.

In Boulder’s Covid-19 summer, Andy decided to finally put it to use as a livestream music venue. It has become host to the Tiny Deck Concert series — the name a play on NPR’s popular Tiny Desk music series — for two-hour hill gigs on many Saturday nights this summer. You can see past livestreams on and attend future ones from Andy’s Facebook page.

Tiny Deck with a view. Photo: Paul Hagey

What started on a whim has become a bit of a movement — Andy collects donations online and from a few neighbors who attend the shows, and has begun to line up sponsors, including McDevitt Taco Supply and Rhythms on the Rio. At its upcoming Labor Day concert, the Tiny Deck has perhaps its biggest sponsor yet: Cheeba Chews.

Several livestreams have ranked among the nation’s most popular livestream music shows. The August 15 “Band of Andys” concert had 31,000 views, making it the nation’s 26th most viewed livestream for that week as ranked by Pollstar.

The Tiny Deck’s “Dead Above Folsom” July 11 livestream at 36,000 views has been the summer’s most popular stream so far. The event, with Folsom Field visible far below, replaces the annual Dead and Company Folsom Field show scrapped because of Covid.

A handful of socially distanced neighbors watch the concerts from a hillside facing the stage. Photo: Paul Hagey

In May, Andy held the first concert and has held a half dozen on Saturday nights throughout the summer featuring local musicians Keith Moseley of The String Cheese Incident, Ross James of Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band, Andy Hall and Jeremy Garrett of The Infamous Stringdusters, Anders Beck of Greensky Bluegrass, Andy Frasco of Andy Frasco & The U.N., Adam Aijala of the Yonder Mountain String Band, and artists from Banshee Tree, Sweet Lillies and Andy’s Leftover Salmon band.

Most recently, on Saturday night, the deck featured an album release concert by local musician Daniel Rodriguez for his new album “Sojourn of a Burning Sun.”

Attending a Tiny Deck concert in person remains invite-only, but Andy says that may change.

Daniel Rodriguez and Friends live from the Tiny Deck! Celebrating the release of “Sojourn of a Burning Sun.” Tips gratefully accepted at Venmo @Thornpipe and I’ll share with these fantastic musicians!

Posted by Andy Thorn Music on Saturday, August 29, 2020

Feature Image: Still of Daniel Rodriguez and friends with Andy on the far right. Source: Andy Thorn Music.

Paul Hagey

Paul Hagey is BLDRfly’s founder and editor. When not wrangling video, audio and words in the name of story, he’s riding his mountain bike, trail running and hanging with his awesome wife Jen and their young daughter.